Choosing the Boarding School That’s Right For You: People Matter

people-matterThis story came to me via the grapevine last week, about a student, who believed that he had found the perfect school, but, after his accepted student revisit, found that his dream wasn’t his dream at all. In fact, it was something of a nightmare.

Full disclosure, I verified that this story is, indeed, true.

We talk, and write, continually about school fit. Find the school that meets you where you stand on opening day and will grow you the furthest during your time there.

Most often we frame, and predicate, the discussion around programs and opportunities – minimizing the ‘people’ part of the equation.

This vignette provides the chance to revisit the importance of the ‘people’ part of the school fit equation.

This student believed he had found his dream school. Great tour. Solid interview. Great program opportunities. Doing well in the school would have opened some top-notch college options.

Applied. Accepted. Student is completely upbeat and excited about his acceptance. This where I want to go. Pretty much all set.

Accepted Student Re-visit.

Our student is paired with current who ‘ditches’ him.

Rather than being welcomed into the community and guided through the school, his revisit host treats him as pariah. Our accepted student describes the experience as thoughtless, mean, and insensitive.

Accepted student changes his mind and chooses a different school after his accepted student revisit experience.

The driving variable behind hour student’s change of heart? People – specifically, the way he was welcomed and treated by one community versus another.

People matter.

When you’re considering a school, or making your final school choice, keep in mind that it’s not the facilities – the art room, the dining hall, the turf field, the recital hall, the gym, or the hockey rink – that will have the greatest affect on your learning and growth; people will – in amazingly large part, your peers, your fellow students.

The people with whom you will build relationships will have the greatest affect on your learning and growth as human being.

Let’s add another piece to the school fit equation. Consider and look for the school full of people – faculty, administrators, students – that you believe will positively affect you in all ways. (Even when they tell you ‘no’ or set a limit for you.)

Our student in in the vignette realized that negativity and unhealthy relationships were not for him. So he chose a school where he believes he’ll have the greatest potential to grow through positive relationships.

When someone visits any of our campuses, we’re all messengers.

Brian Fisher

A product of both private and public education, Brian Fisher served as a teacher, coach, dorm parent, and administrator at three different boarding schools. Brian also fills the role of Director of Development at Wolfeboro, The Summer Boarding School, in NH along with being a partner at AdmissionsQuest.

More by Brian Fisher

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